Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Long and Short of It

"Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray"
Psalm 55:17

Did you read about the Subway sandwich controversy?  Apparently some of their "footlong" sandwiches aren't exactly, well, a foot long.  It's too soon to tell if this is going to change their quality control standards, or if it's all just going to blow over, but I do love the fact that this came to light in Australia, a country where things aren't measured by the foot.

Of course, that's most countries, isn't it?  Yeah, I just did an internet check, and the only countries who are not on the metric system are the US, Myanmar and Liberia.

Well, I don't know about Myanmar and Liberia, but speaking on behalf of my country ~ boy, are we stubborn! 

I feel it's okay for me to say that, because I was one of those kids being educated in the 70s and 80s, when our government was desperately trying to teach us the metric system.  And with good reason, since the whole rest of the world uses it!  Well, almost the whole world... 

And yet, somehow, we just couldn't or wouldn't learn it.  And here we are, all these years later, persisting in measuring our sandwiches by the foot. 

Anyhow, I thought it was interesting that this whole sandwich controversy came about because of facebook.  The sandwich complainant posted his sandwich and tape measure on Subway's facebook page, and pretty soon, there was a bandwagon of people joining in the conversation. 

It's hard for me to believe the internet has existed for such a short time.  Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, email, not to mention the "googling" I did to find out the countries that aren't on the metric system.  In most ways, progress is a blessing, isn't it? 

Thinking about all of this today had me thinking about communication.  It used to be ~ not too long ago ~ that to communicate with those who were too far away to walk to, you had to write a letter, then wait for days or weeks until someone picked up the mail, tucked it in their bag, and jumped on their horse to send your letter to its destination. 

That was the extent of written communication for a very long time.  The horse was assisted, then replaced by the train, and then the automobile.  Then the airplane was added, and the time it took was shortened. 

Then came email.  Written communication became instantaneous. 

The length of mail changed, too.  Back when letters were a once or twice a year, they were long.  I remember reading in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, about Ma cramming news about the family into every inch of the paper.  But with email, we can send a nice, to-the-point message.  No big deal if we forget something, 'cause we can just send another one.  Even more so with the 140-character-limit of twitter. 

All of this got me thinking about how we communicate with God.  What are your prayers like?  Do you send up brief prayers when you have a minute?  Or do you converse with Him?

There's a place for both.  He's there for us when we want to pour out our hearts, and He's there when we send up a quick, "Help me!"  And I think He treasures both. 

What's not okay, is to rely on just those quickies.  I've heard them called arrow prayers, or popcorn prayers, just popping up to Him.  But we need to be more familiar with Him.  Our prayers shouldn't have to start with, "Remember me?" 

He loves hearing from you, and prayer was His idea.  Indulge in it!

~ "He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God" ~
Luke 6:12

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